a year since our last car died, we're now in the process of purchasing
a vehicle. Please pray for wisdom to make the right choice, and
we should be able to show off our new vehicle soon!
DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL & BEYOND
Sunday, April 10th, we woke up by something crashing
down and immediatly noticed the black fumes under the ceiling, only
to discover our living room in flames. Even though
we spent a mere seconds in midst of the blazing fire, we had second
and third degree burns on arms, backs and head. After shouting
out of our barred window for what seemed a long time, some our kids
took rocks and pulled out the iron bars so we could
waited for someone to go to the main road and get us a taxi,
and only then could we finally make our way to the only clinic
I would go myself. There was only a skeleton crew there on a Sunday,
and so they just bandaged us and put us into a room.
first few days were pretty bad
as they had no experience with burns, made mistakes
that caused us more severe burns and probably scarring for
life, as well as unnecessary pain. On
the fourth day we finally saw a tangible shift,
and everything started going uphill from there. A Western
missionary doctor came to see us and help us, and I started
exchanging emails with another missionary doctor friend who has
a lot of experience with burns and who gave us
invaluale advice - that we were thankful to see the
hospital staff follow to the best of their ability. Also, the Western-trained
doctor who founded and owns the clinic agreed to have the one good
nurse who had been taking care of us be the only one to
change our bandages every day - even if that meant he had
to come into the hospital on his day off. Thank God! That was such
a big relief to me, as the other nurses just ripped bandages off
with no concern as for the pain they were causing.
really got to know that nurse Lassine whose wife
was expecting her first baby any time, and felt that it was a relationship
God had set up for longterm. Lassine expressed his desire to come
help us with medical issues with our kids any time it was
needed. And we prayed for him regularly regarding his baby's birth
which was overdue. He even let us pray for him right there in the
room! Two weeks after we got out of the hospital, 7 days after his
baby's birth, he had a name-giving ceremony we
got invited to. It was great seeing him again, and
we expect to see him visit us on our base in the near future.
a week into our hospital stay we got off the IV
- not without having caused issues for both Randy
and I - and after that we were pretty much left to ourselves all
day except for the bandage change. We had a few visitors, some missionary
friends, as well as Paul coming by nearly every day
and keeping us comprised of what was going on at home where he was
working hard on getting our house repaired.
our release was approaching, the big question was where
to go. Our home was not ready. We needed a clean
and a cool place to go to, so somewhere with an air-conditioner
as it was the hottest time of year. Missionary
friends of ours offered to have us in their home, and we were very
thankful to have great fellowship, air-conditioning when
the power wasn't out, and not having to worry about preparing meals.
We stayed at their home for 3 weeks; what a huge
blessing they were to us!
weekend, five weeks after the fire, we returned
to our home after our bedroom was painted and dried. So
now we live out of our bedroom while the rest of the house gets
painted, renovated and repaired, and eat Malian
meals and bread until our kitchen is operational again. My
bed is my office, having no access to paper right now,
while Randy is out and about doing physical work
most of the time.
(left) and Randy (right) May 11, a month after the fire.
here to read the detailed report of
what happened that April Sunday morning and of our first
six days in the clinic. Follow us on Facebook to stay in
touch with what's going on with us.
while we were at the hospital, Paul worked hard
to get everything repaired so we could return as soon as
possible. Who knew it would take 5 weeks for it to be at
that point! Electricians, plumbers, masons, tile-layers,
painters and more were needed to do their jobs. Now we
even have a breaker box and smoke detectors!
(Something that could have prevented the fire.) Our boys also helped
when they were not at school. A week after our release from
the clinic, we went home for the first time to assess the situation.
I knew it was bad, but I was unprepared for how bad the rest of
the house was that had not been directily touched by the fire. Everything
was black, to the farthest corner of the house! All the
walls, every object! Within minutes I was black myself, especially
after touching my surviving kitty who was so very
happy to see me. Not only was I shocked by everything being black,
but also by the extent of destruction that had
occurred AFTER the fire. My office was a mess, and so was our bedroom.
was time to get to work. We started packing up
all our stuff and emptying out first our bedroom and storage room.
Randy had borrowed a power-washer, and he went
room by room washing all the walls. A lot of soot came off, but
it sure was still pretty black after!
up the house was a major undertaking, and we've been moving
stuff around as needed, emptying out rooms to be painted, and then
moving stuff in to empty out other rooms. As I write this they are
painting the very last room of this house. Now
what's left is the bars on our windows. Then it's time to move the
remaining furniture in its place, unpack everything, clean it and
put it in its spot. We have already giving a job to the carpenter
to make furniture, and we're hoping to buy a nice couch
set at a store that has imported furniture. Wood and furniture
is not cheap in Mali, but we trust that everything
that needs to be done will be done.
moved into this third building on our base over
4 years ago when Paul got married and we needed the space.
The house had never been finished - never painted,
and was still waiting for the solar hot water heater on the roof
(it's now installed). After getting married, Randy started
painting the house and had done two rooms
before the fire occurred. In light of all the damage, we knew it
was time to get the house finished. We are believing
for GREATER THAN BEFORE, more beautiful than before,
kingdom restoration that always leads to more glory than before!
I lost hundreds, maybe thousands of DVDs and books
in the fire that I will never be able to all replace. But we came
out alive, and will go on to new heights
because God always makes something greater and more glorious
out of the enemy's attacks against us. Already we're in
a house more beautiful than before, and I cannot wait to see what
it will look like in the end.
this would not have been possible without YOU,
all our friends and supporters who overwhelmed
us with their love and prayers and giving. We were touched over
and over again by everyone's generosity which is
the only reason we have been able to repair and renovate and restore
as we have been without having to worry about funds. Thank
you so much to all of you! May God bless you abundantly in return!
HERE FOR ALL THE PICTURES,
INCLUDING THE LATEST
decided to not do things just half-way but to go all in and do the
renovations that had already been planned for the near future. So
the painters also repainted our other two buildings,
and painted our gates and property walls for the
first time, making our base look really beautiful and closer to
looking like the oasis we are called to be. We're still looking
for a gardener to plant some palm trees and flowers
along the wall.
also installed a much-needed bathroom and shower inside
our dining hall where the street children sleep every night, eliminating
their need to leave the building at night and roam around our base.
Left: Dining hall & guest
apartment. Middle: Kids' dorms and living room. Right: Our house.
Health - Our second degree burns have pretty much healed.
However, where they cut open blisters and removed skin we now
have third degree burns, and they have hardly
changed in their deep red color in a while. We continue changing
bandages and putting burn creme on every day,
and will have to do so for a while. Thankfully we don't have pain
Neighbors - Not long after the fire Paul went door
to door in our neighborhood and thanked
our neighbors for coming to help with the fire. In the past, many
of our neighbors were hostile towards us. To
Paul's amazement everyone was touched he'd come
by and thank them, and even those hostile before suddenly wanted
to know what exactly we're doing and seemed to now be
on our side. Praise God!
- Our Malian leader has been working really hard
and overtime to take care of the repair work and everything
else. Please pray for him, his health, his strength,
his marriage. He wants to take a few days off after our house
is finished, and he very much deserves it.
Papers - We also lost receipts and other important papers
in the fire, but the most important one is the government
paper for our church that shows we're a legal
Malian association. It was a miracle
that we finally got those papers last year after many years of
trying, and unfortunately, you can't just go and get another copy.
Please pray for favor that we could get that
paper again without too much hassle and too many costs involved.
School - We're still planning on starting our elementary
school in July, and once our house is back together,
we can start preparing for that. Please pray for us.
Pregnant - Paul's wife Rokia is pregnant again, just
a short time after her miscarriage. Please pray
Guard - Right after the fire we hired a professional
night guard which Paul and I had wanted to do for a while, who
now guards us together with our ex-street kid night guard who's
been with us for a while. The security company
was founded by an American lady who lives here, and she's been
really concerned for us. Had we had a guard then, he would have
spotted the fire early.
Kitty - Our girl's brother died in the fire, leaving
her traumatized and alone. A week ago we got a little kitty who
she has now adopted as her child and won't let
out of her sight. We're glad our cat is not alone any more. More
- Randy's youngest daughter is getting married
in July, and Randy is going to be in the US for that occasion
for over two weeks, while I teach in our new school. It will be
our first time apart.
- We have started working on our Europe and US schedule for this
fall. We're still looking for churches in Austria,
France and Switzerland who are interested in having us
come minister. Please pray for connections and open doors, and
let us know if you'd like us to come to your church or group.
Look to the left to see what is scheduled so far.
Donors - We're praying that God would put it on people's
hearts to support us on a monthly basis so that
we have more than the current 41% of our budget
Volunteers - Our children are out of school for four
months, June through September. We're looking
for volunteers to come during that time to watch and play and
spend time with our children. No language skills needed, but French
skills are helpful.
not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name;
you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames
will not set you ablaze.(Isa